Art and words of Josh Burns.

What Happened to the Robots?

To mankind, the fall of earth’s robot society was a mystery. The island they inhabited, a giant waste processing facility in the middle of the pacific, continued to function. It was tended to by a force of giant lumbering robotic custodians.

Mankind had prospered much from their alliance with the robots. The planet was less polluted and the robot’s scientific progress had garnered numerous technological advancements. The robot society was born of man’s intellect but had surpassed it in under a hundred years, and then vanished two centuries later with no known explanation.

A thirst for knowledge always defined the robot race. From the start they made it known they would do whatever it took to survive and continue the their pursuit of more knowledge. In their first encounter with man a document was presented with over a 1000 scenarios and statistical data supporting a 100% probability of mutually assured destruction if human kind attempted to destroy the island nation. Mankind made no such attempt. In all actuality the document was a calculated bluff. Each scenario was weighted using fabricated statistics. But mankind took the document for granted despite some protest from the scientific community. When the Robots disappeared some thought it was a clandestine operation by The Organic Life Movement, a group who opposed using the technology offered by the robots. But the reason for their disappearance was much more intriguing.

Mankind had little contact with the robots. Travel to the island was restricted due to the unstable nature of the landscape and the robots never traveled to the mainland. The robots would attach data packs to the shipments of resources that regularly piloted to the mainland. The reason for the sharing of technological information and research was never known, and the discoveries offered often required much research and testing before any of the information could be used. As time went on the data packs became more and more indecipherable. Mankind was being left in the dust. The sharing of data didn’t ceased until the intelligent robots vanished. Part of the reason the robots advanced so fast is that they never died the original robots that were created would just repair any damaged parts or upgrade for more advanced versions. Mankind believed that the robots had a shared consciousness that was controlled by a central “Queen Robot” on the island. In reality the robots were individuals. The society of the robots was separated into classes. Scientific research robots were at the top of the chain. These robots were charged with discovering new breakthroughs in science and technology. These ancient robots were some of the very first complex “lifeforms” on the island. It was these ruling class of robot that fabricated the scenarios to ensure mankind wouldn’t attempt to destroy the island. The robot’s deception didn’t end there. The research given to mankind was only a small fraction of what was actually discovered. Enormous laboratories existed beneath the island surface. It was here that the real goals of of the robot race were realized. They had surpassed man, but had respect for mankind for the simple fact that they had led to the robot society’s creation. After only eighty-two years the robots could have taken the planet earth as their own, but instead chose to continue to aid man technologically. It would be over two-hundred years before their ultimate goal was realized.

Deep in the heart of the island one of the ancient ruling class of robots worked endlessly to achieve and perfect time travel. This single robot was chosen to make the journey. The robot society, out of an uncharacteristic honor, chose not to conquer mankind, But their calculation predicted that mankind, with no further assistance, would be a match for the robots in approximately 50,000 years. When the portal was opened and the ancient robot stepped through, it triggered the release of a robotic virus that decimated the society. Only pale shadows of the once staggeringly brilliant society remained to tend to the island. The vast laboratories were considered to be waste for breaking down, and in short order no trace of the robot’s strange plan remained.

“Atlas” Carried the whole of the robot world over 50,000 years into the future to face mankind in a fair fight for the planet earth.

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